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June 12, 2008 10:46 AM UTC

Democrats attempt to distort what McCain said to Matt Lauer on the Today Show.

  • by: NEWSMAN

“The Obama campaign is embarking on a false attack on John McCain to hide their own candidate’s willingness to disregard facts on the ground in pursuit of withdrawal no matter what the costs. John McCain was asked if he had a ‘better estimate’ for a timeline for withdrawal.

“As John McCain has always said, that is not as important as conditions on the ground and the recommendations of commanders in the field. Any reasonable person who reads the full transcript would see this and reject the Obama campaign’s attempt to manipulate, twist and distort the truth.”

What McCain actually said:

Today Show co-host Matt Lauer asked about the surge strategy in Iraq:

“If it’s working Senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?”

McCain replied: “No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw; we will be able to withdraw. General [David] Petraeus is going to tell us in July when he thinks we are.

“But the key to it is that we don’t want any more Americans in harm’s way. That way, they will be safe, and serve our country and come home with honor and victory, not in defeat, which is what Senator Obama’s proposal would have done. I’m proud of them. And they’re doing a great job. And we are succeeding and it’s fascinating that Senator Obama still doesn’t realize that.”

This is a smoke screen.

What is it they are hoping we won’t notice?

“And we are succeeding and it’s fascinating that Senator Obama still doesn’t realize that.”


26 thoughts on “Democrats attempt to distort what McCain said to Matt Lauer on the Today Show.

  1. How any of what McCain said makes any sense at all? Let’s put this “not too important” statement into context with the rest of his argument

    First, McCain has previously admitted that Iraq is not like South Korea, Japan or Germany. There is no valid comparison between those conflict and this one.

    Second, this is just an old man mumbling some talking point which he forgot half-way through saying it

    American casualties and the ability to withdraw; we will be able to withdraw.

    Third, General Petraeus is actually going to set a timeline for withdrawal next month? That’s great. Hopefully McCain doesn’t threaten him and call him a defeatist.

    Fourth, what kind of orwellian logic is he using to claim that must keep them in iraq, to keep them out of harms way, because then they’ll be safe…

    Finally, I find it fascinating McCain couldn’t answer the question with one fact but ended it by attacking his opponent. Sounds like he’s on the retreat on this issue.

    Democrats are not taking him out of context. We do not need to, since he’s the Maverick giving us Straight Talk. This is what he believes, and we’re going to make sure that all Americans also know what he truly believes (not the spin coming from his campaign).

  2. .

    If McCain opponents have to reinterpret his comments to find a problem,

    is there a problem ?


    Me, I’m the first to admit that McCain doesn’t “get it.”

    He seems to think that our national security interests are served by prolonging our stay in Iraq.  

    He would apparently measure our success there by how long we can stay there,

    swaying their elections, bribing their Ministers, and facilitating the flow of oil.    

    Not how I would measure success.


    But to take what he said,

    that when we withdraw troops is not too important,

    when he clearly meant that the timing of withdrawal is not nearly as important as achieving our goals,

    and to reinterpret that as him saying that its not important to get our troops home safely,

    that’s unfair and inaccurate.  


    Let’s not use the same sort of prevarications to argue for ending the war

    as the Bush team used to gin it up

    when we have Truth and Justice on our side.

    Those are far more powerful tools than any lie.


  3. Ask the families of our troops who’ve been deployed four times already how important it is to them when we withdraw.

    McCain is right in a theoretical sense: if we’re not suffering casualties, there’s not as much of a problem (ignoring those over-extended deployments for a moment).  But we are suffering casualties, and wishing for a pony isn’t going to change that.

  4. Here is why it is important without regard to casualties.

    It costs us $341 million a day. That is a $1 billion dollars every three days.

    That eats up the savings from McCain fiscal restraint in a month and a half.

    It has cost colorado taxpayers $8 BILLION dollars.

    What could we have done with $8 Billion dollars?

    That accepts the lunatic supposition that you can have an occupation force in the heart of the middle east without casualties.


      1. You are the party of RETREAT and DEFEAT.

        What part of WIN the War, and  Win the Peace, don’t you Lib’s understand.

        I have 3 words for you guys that say American can’t win in the Middle East. There just words.  But they answer your constant doom and gloom and defeatism.

        YES WE CAN.

        1. Of course we can “win” in the Middle East. The first Gulf War had broad international participation, support from across the region, a specific goal sold honestly to the American people and a clearly defined exit strategy.

          W’s Folly has none of these. It’s too bad his daddy issues got in the way of understanding how to win in the Middle East.

          Democrats are the party of REALITY. Here’s why we can’t ever trust the Republicans with National Defense. You are the party of DELUSION, INCOMPETENCE and CORRUPTION.

          3 words for you guys who deny the facts, heedless of the cost, consequences and morally corrupt underpinnings of your reckless Crusade:


        2. Were the costs of leaving greater than the costs of staying?

          If the British had continued their occupation of the colonies they would have been bankrupt? How long would they have had to stay before we would have given up?

          We have strategic interests in the region, but it is the Iraqis’ country?  In the SoF being negotiated right now, the Iraqis’ want us to stay in our bases unless the central government requests our presence, doesn’t sound like even our puppets want us there.

        3. and shit in the other. Guess which one is filling up first.

          It’s time to make policy decisions based on external facts, not internal beliefs. That is why the GOP is going to be swept away into a decade (or more) of irrelevance.

    1. This “distortion” argument is a familiar straw man the Republicans (and Newsman) love to bash. The problem isn’t McCain’s “not too important” soundbite, it’s what he said in context that’s so wildly at odds with what the American people want.

      1. You didn’t even address the FACTS of what Olbermann was talking about, that is, all the disparate and contradictory statements McCain has made. I said Olbermann put it in context and he did. WHOOSH – right past you.

        Even though I expected a childish dismissal like this, I’m still disappointed.

        1. It is about the Obama campaigns deliberate attempt to distort John Mccain’s words, and meaning.  

          Taken in context, (meaning sentence, entire statement given at the same time on this subject context, not partisan rant make it up, substitute Keith Olbermann’s opinion for what really was said anti-context), then McCain is correct.

          In your alternate universe where it doesn’t matter what a man said, or the fact that messiah Obama was clearly wrong, to you it matters what Keith Olbermann thinks of him, I will leave you to it.  

          1. is what McCain said. If you weren’t such a thoughtless, knee jerk, feeling rather than thinking person, you’d get past Olbermann’s rage (or ranting – guess what, I happen to agree with you there) and see what’s important – that McCain has been all over the place regarding the Iraq timeline. He’s said we’ll be there a short period, and he’s supposed we could be there a hundred years. He’s said that American troops won’t be there long, and he’s said they will be. THAT’s a fact, jack, and that is what I was hoping you could consider because that was beautifully summarized in Olbermann’s commentary. But, for the reasons I listed at the top of this paragraph, you won’t.

            1. Yours and your buddy K. O.’s analysis is way wrong on what McCain said and meant.

              He means, being in a place is not the same as being “at war” in that country.

              We have troops in Japan today, soon to be 67 years after Pearl Harbor. We are not at war with Japan.  Our troops are not at risk in Japan (unless they drive in Tokyo traffic.)  The 100 years war thing was just a opportunistic lie the left made up for the non thinking liberal partisans to feed on.  It never had any basis in truth.

              Olbermann is a despicable excuse for an impartial news commentator, one of the most partisan guys on the planet,

              I try to ignore rabid propagandists.

              1. Nearly all your written arguments come from rabid propagandists (Rush Limbaugh certainly fits that description, as does your buddy the “libs are solely to blame for high gas prices” blogger). If Olbermann is to be so easily dismissed, then so be it with all conservative commentators as well, unless you’re comfortable being a hypocrite.

                But never mind that – you still sidestep the issue, namely the facts (not opinion) Olbermann stated when he summarized all the contradictory, conflicting statements McCain has made since 2002 regarding Iraq.

                I don’t think you even watched the video. So go back and watch the part where all those quotes are listed. Then come back and explain why Olbermann is incorrect to call McCain on all the contradictions.

                1. Rush and Keith are entitled to their opinions. I quote NBC , PMSNBC,FOX, the NYT’s, the EIB network, whoever makes a case I find interesting.  

                  Rush gets on his partisan high horse once in a while too, but I don’t use them to make MY case.

                  I dismiss Olbermann, precisely because Limbaugh has been thus treated here. If you guys can dismiss Limbaugh and Coulter when they bring up 5 examples of an issue BECAUSE you don’t find them overall credible, then I get to pick and choose also.


                  1. Go back and watch the summary of McCain’s statements. It is FACTUAL, not editorial. Seriously. Go back and watch the part where they compiled everything he has said about the war’s duration. Go back, watch that, and COMMENT ON THAT. That, or just admit that you can’t answer it.

                    STOP AVOIDING THE REAL ISSUE.

                    1. I don’t care what McCain said in 1997, or any other time than the subject of this post, what he said to Matt Lauer.

                      If you want to start another diary about Keith Olbermann, feel free.

                    2. You are being willfully ignorant, and dishonest to boot. I have never changed the subject, and you can’t show where I have since I did not. All the quotes were since 9/11. You don’t care? Then why did you bring it up?

                    3. That’s what I brought up, not everything John McCain has ever said, or that Keith Olbermann thinks he said.

                      Like I said, start a Keith Olbermann “Rants of the self righteous” diary.

                      You have dodged my question and ignored my posts.

                      Barrack Obama was caught in a Lie and deliberate distortion of what John McCain said in 2008 to Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today show.

                      By your lack of any credible defence, or even any attempt to counter or address that, I must assume you can’t, and obviously all you can do is change the subject.

                    4. As you like to say, you don’t get to make the rules. I introduced a relevant angle to the discussion. It either makes you uncomfortable or you just can’t bring yourself to view it objectively.

                      What question have I dodged? Looking back on this thread I see none posed (other than one I took to be an ironic insult and chose to ignore). And the Obama thing was completely irrelevant and did nothing to answer my question, so yes I did ignore that. You want to discuss that? Answer my question first, and then, and ONLY then, will I answer yours.

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